Whilst some may consider 2017’s Logan the Fox’s last attempt to make some money off Hugh Jackman’s stellar portrayal of the near immortal Canadian mutant, after watching this film I was left in genuine shock at just how well their farewell for the character had gone. I may have cried in the final moments of the film.
Ok I definitely cried.
But isn’t that the mark of a great film? Some say that the best comedies also have the ability to make you cry and that also holds true for films of the Superhero genre. It’s not just a Superhero film. With undercurrents of both a western and a road trip film Logan is almost a eulogy for these characters that we’ve become so fond of.
But I suppose the real question is, “Why should we care about these characters? They’re not dying in real life”. But that’s just the thing, from the age of 5 or so when I watched the first X-men film it was established that Hugh Jackman is Wolverine and Patrick Stewart is Charles Xavier. That has become a constant fact in my life since then, to the point that I find it slightly weird seeing Patrick Stewart out of a wheelchair but we’ll look over that, and then watching them grow old and frail and wanting to die just struck a chord in me.
We root for the protagonist in films; whether they be your classic Hero, Anti-Hero or everyday man thrown into something new. We support them because we care about them and regardless of what their goal is for the film it always betters their life in some way shape or form, whether that’s defeating the bad guy, escaping the crime business, getting the girl etc. we support them because we want to see them succeed. With Logan this is twisted upon us because their goal is to die. Logan’s pushing two hundred and Charles’ mind is withering away so it’s no surprise that they want to put an end to their existence in the most peaceful way possible, and we support that because after all don’t they deserve it? After all the countless lives they’ve saved and despite the fact that they’re very well justified to hate humans, because let’s face we’re not exactly the kindest of species, they strive for peace and prosperity between everyone.
At 2 hours 17 minutes, Logan stands as one of the longest X-men films and this is actually an important factor. The run time is important because it drags everything out. This experience is already traumatic enough and it’s not even quick and painless, it’s dragged out for us. Every punch, every joke, every nostalgic conversation is drawn out to an excruciating degree and it makes us feel it. We absorb every moment, every single last moment for these characters is laid out before us. And it’s messy. Things aren’t fully explained, people die halfway through conversations, happiness is never fully achieved for any of these characters that we’ve grown to love over the years.
All in all Logan is the standalone Wolverine film that we needed because it connects with us on such a level, like no other X-men film has thus far, that it manages to create this cacophony of emotion that leaves the viewers speechless by the end of it.
written by Jack Kelleher